The World of Jack London
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  1. "To the Man on the Trail: A Klondike Christmas"Overland Monthly, v. 33 (January 1899), 36-40. [SOW]

    Writing to his friend Cloudesly Johns on February 27, 1899, London said: "The compositors made some bad mistakes, the worst being a willful change in the title, and a most jarring one. It was plainly typewritten 'To the Man on Trail'; this they printed 'To the Man on the Trail' What trail? The thing was abstract." Quoted in Charmian K. London, The Book of Jack London (New York: The Century Co., 1921), I, 280. Commonly, this tale is listed as the story marking London's debut as a professional writer. Although the story is a fine one, its publication did not prove an auspicious beginning. The moribund Overland not only failed to send London a courtesy copy of the issue it appeared in, but — more important to the impecunious young writer — it failed to send the promised $5 purchase fee for it. London finally had to storm the Overland offices to extract the $5 from the pockets of Roscoe Eames and Edward Biron Payne of the magazine's staff. For one version of this dreary episode in the Overland's history, see Irving Stone, Sailor on Horseback: The Biography of Jack London (Boston; Houghton Mifflin Co., 1938), pp. 113-116. cited hereafter as Sailor on Horseback. Significantly, this famous book was subtitled "A Biographical Novel" in all editions after the first. For a different version of the same episode, see James Howard Bridge, Millionaires and Grub Street [New York: Brentano's, 1931), pp. 200, 202. Bridge was Overland editor at the time of the encounter.

  2. "The White Silence"Overland Monthly, v. 33 (February 1899), 138-142. [SOW]

    The Overland paid London $5 for this tale which Irving Stone calls "one of our imperishable classics of the frozen country." (Sailor on Horseback, p. 114.) London originally titled this story "Northland Episode".

  3. "The Son of the Wolf"Overland Monthly, v. 33 (April 1899), 335-343. [SOW]

    London received $7.50 for this story.

  4. "The Men of Forty-Mile"Overland Monthly, v. 33 (May 1899), [388], 401-405. [SOW]

         London originally submitted this story with the title "A Northland Duel" and later "Forty Mile Duel". He received $7.50 for this story.

  5. "A Thousand Deaths"The Black Cat (Boston), [v. 4] (May 1899), 33-42. [JLII]

    London later said he was "literally and literarily" saved by the $40 H. D. Umbstaetter paid him for this story on February 23, 1899. See London's introduction to Umbstaetter's The Red Hot Dollar & Other Stories from the Black Cat (Boston: L. C. Page & Co., 1911), pp. v-ix. London also wrote in his manuscript record that the $40 was ''first money received for a story from a magazine." (King Hendricks and Irving Shepard, eds., Letters from Jack London, New York: The Odyssey Press. 1965, p. 39.)

    For a reprinting of this rare story, see The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 33 (September 1967). pp. 91-99; and The London Collector (Cedar Springs, Mich., Richard Weiderman, editor), No. 2 (April 1971), pp. 3-13.

    London originally titled this story "By a Thousand Deaths".

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